Saturday, May 17, 2014. Another deep med session this morning. Afterwards, I considered my upcoming (May 22) interview for a different secretarial position at the Water Department. I’m not as excited about it as I feel I ought to be.
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Man, do I ever want to go out and smoke again. I smoked immediately before this writing.
In short, I reflected at length on the prospect of working just for a paycheck. Am I willing to want to do that? The prospect of wanting material things brings me into conflict with Jesus’ remark about “treasures in heaven.” Maybe he said that to people who obsess overmuch with material things; I have the opposite problem. See post, “Treasures in heaven.”
On the one hand, there is a strong temptation in the spiritual path to despise the material world: Paul’s constant glorifying of “spirit” over “flesh;” the admonitions to “walk by faith, not by sight” and to “seek that which is eternal” rather than that which is temporary. “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” This temptation is not just in the spiritual path: in the division of labor in the social hierarchy, those lowest on the pyramid always get assigned the most menial, dirty, disgusting jobs. Who serves as wet nurse? Who washes guests’ feet?
The most disgusting job known among my current neighbors is at the Phoenix medical waste incinerator. As far as I know, it’s staffed almost wholly by temps working twelve-hour shifts. You wear a containment suit — often defective, I’m told — putting medical waste items from whatever they’re shipped in, onto a conveyer belt that carries them into the furnace. These items include used hypodermic needles and a large proportion of — organs and body parts that have been amputated, and body parts or whole carcasses of experimental animals, such as dogs, cats and chimpanzees. There is constant risk of exposure to biohazard fluids, and the stench is beyond words.
Do I need to be willing to work there?
I began by discussing a secretarial job!
The agencies themselves that staff Phoenix, I’m not willing to work for. (See: “Must I work for Rent-A-Bum?”)
It may indeed be that I need to learn more humility. It may indeed be that learning to just plain want material things, may be humility enough.
On the other hand, a whole different angle is available. The Cayce witness is that anything that enhances the physical body (or health) is righteous, of God. So likewise testifies the Worrall witness. To love God — to love All — of necessity entails loving the material world.
Maybe I can learn to love the material world, enough to want to work just for a paycheck.
(Originally posted 2014-08-23.)